WEDNESDAY, September 16, 2015
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October 28-30, 2015 
San Diego, CA

Leaders Partnering for Success
 will provide library CEOs, deputy directors and community partners with the opportunity to engage in open discussions about shared visions and goals for addressing education and racial/social equity, all while helping to build a stronger framework for successful community-wide collaboration.

Join your peers and community thought leaders in San Diego this October to tackle education and racial/social equity challenges and identify innovative solutions. 

Visit the ULC website to view the conference agenda, speaker bios and more! 
ULC Libraries Kick off Library Card Sign-Up Month with Innovative Programs
This September is the American Library Association's (ALA) National Library Card Sign-Up Month and libraries across the country are hosting activities and implementing creative programs to ensure community members have access to all the resources and services that they offer.

On the digital front, Harris County Public Library launched their new iKnow Digital Library Card, which allows residents to register online and access ebooks, audiobooks and streaming video from their home digital device. The Free Library of Philadelphia held a special sign-up event last week to kickoff the launch of their new Virtual Library Card.

ULC libraries are also developing partnerships with their local school districts to maximize student access to library resources. The District of Columbia has added access to DC Public Library resources to the list of services provided by their DC One Card for local students. Richland Library also kicked off a new partnership with Richland School District Two, announcing plans for the development of a joint school-library facility and distributing library cards to all Richland Two students.

This year, ULC, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and ALA, rallied libraries from over 30 major cities and counties to provide library cards to students for the White House ConnectED Library Challenge. As part of this effort, ULC and IMLS plan to develop a national convening of participating libraries to identify and share best practices in reaching universal library card use among public school students. Follow e-News Weekly for future updates on this initiative. 

New York Times Highlights Non-Traditional Library Lending Programs

The New York Times recently published an article outlining how libraries are working to better serve their communities through non-traditional lending programs, makerspaces and much more. Whether it's lending out a ukelele from Sacramento Public Library's Library of Things program or strengthening math and literacy skills through the Free Library of Philadelphia's Culinary Literacy Center, the diversity of library services and collections are evolving to meet shifting community needs.

Read the full article here.

San Diego Opens First Public Library Biotech Lab

September 1 marked the grand opening of a new public biotech laboratory in the La Jolla-Riford branch of the San Diego Public Library (SDPL). The opening event, led by San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Congressman Scott Peters, celebrates the new exploratory space as the first ever biotech lab housed within a public library.

The public can now access a host of new high tech equipment for analyzing and investigating the life sciences, such as microscopes, DNA copying machines, and a 3D printer. During the lab's grand opening, local middle school students, led by volunteer scientists from the San Diego Wet Lab, conducted experiments in extracting DNA from vegetable cells.

During the opening, Mayor Faulconer also praised SDPL for providing a service that will help nurture innovation in the San Diego area.

"We do a lot of great research here in San Diego and our public libraries are on the forefront of making us the world-class city that we are," said Mayor Faulconer. "And starting today our libraries are going to add one new great aspect to it, and that's helping to boost our creativity and our creative spirit."

Click here to learn more about the SDPL biotech lab.
Pathway to Reading Sensory Wall


The Boston Public Library (BPL) Sensory Wall provides a multi-sensory experience for the youngest learners to foster brain development and an inclusive environment for children with sensory-processing disorders. Located in ToddleTown, the early literacy area in BPL's newly renovated Children's Library, the Sensory Wall offers new learning tools such as LED panels and bubble tubes to stimulate senses in a playful child-directed environment.

"Boston Public Library is honored to receive this award and is extremely grateful to the Urban Libraries Council," said BPL Interim President David Leonard. "We are committed to serving our youngest users and providing early developmental opportunities that foster a love of learning, and it begins with this interactive wall at the Central Library."

Click here to learn more about this innovative project. Visit the ULC website to view the complete list of 2015 Innovations.

Helping Schools Bridge the Homework Gap

A recent article in THE Journal highlights the ways in which school districts struggle to bridge the homework gap due to digital inequity. Public libraries are perfectly positioned to support out-of-school education, and the challenges and suggested solutions in the article indicate areas in which libraries can partner with school districts to improve education outcomes, from mobile hotspot lending programs to Lifeline reform.

Click here to read the full article and ULC's latest Leadership Brief, Partners for Education.

IMLS Releases Learning in Libraries Report 

In May 2015, a group of library thought leaders met at the Kansas City Public Library for an IMLS Focus convening on the subject of learning in libraries. IMLS recently released a report highlighting the key themes and issues raised by participants, from early learning to digital literacy.  

Click here to read an IMLS blog summarizing the findings, as well as the full Learning in Libraries report. 
For more interaction with your colleagues, follow ULC on Twitter and Facebook. ULC also has a LinkedIn group. Please like, follow and join!


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